Software feature requests.

+7 votes
I would like to see the following features added to the Wikitree tool suite 1) add a print button to make a nice, clean paper or pdf copy of the profile and associated photos (this would be especially valuable to enable folks to make to create a clean, printed personal family genealogy from the Wikitree database.  & 2) a tool that would compute the total number of direct ancestors and descendants linked to any particular profile in Wikitree.  This would provide instant feedback on the scope of a particular tree in the data base.  If these numbers were logged and plotted on a periodic basis, it would also provide an activity benchmark on any particular clan.
in WikiTree Tech by Randy Beebe G2G2 (2.2k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I understand what Randy is asking for, and I would like to see that feature, too.

People have asked for printouts of profiles, and they don't like all the junk that comes along.

Not a perfect solution, but I now have a BETA version of a 'Printer Friendly Bio' option in v1.3 of the WikiTree Toolkit.

4 Answers

+5 votes
Hi, Randy,

Check the Family Tree & Genealogy Tools on the tab in your profile.  These tabs list all kinds of reports that generate from your trees, including Ancestor and Descendant lists.

Your WATCHLIST under the "My WikiTree" Tab gives a list of all profiles you manage.  From any profile, you can check your relationship to that person.

I suggest you explore the tabs under My WikTree and read the help pages to become familiar as most you request are already there.

There are also widgets that you can copy & paste to other websites you may have.

Printing is a function of your computer/printer attached to it.  From the browser toolbar, you can print from WikiTree.

Check the Help for other features.
by Sheryl Moore G2G6 Mach 9 (93.1k points)
Apparently I was not sufficiently precise in the description of the features I desire, because the features I desire do not presently exist (and I have exercised nearly every option presently offered) .

1.  What I am looking for in the print function is something like print button on the recipe sites are doing like this example here:  I am looking for the equivalent action that the print button on this recipe site, that strips out the HTML formatting and offers a printable copy suitable for an 8.5x11 paper format that looks like it was intended to be printed on that format rather than to be displayed on a computer screen.

2) the second request is that I want a COUNT of the number of direct Ancestors and the number of direct descendants a particular profile has.  I am fully aware of the tree displays, the fan displays, the expanded displays etc., but that is not what I am after, I want to know how many total parents, grandparents, gr. grandparents, and X gr. grandparents have been linked to a particular profile, and for descendants the same thing how many total children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and x gr. grandchildren.  A single number in each direction would be sufficient.  This number provides an instant benchmark on documentation state of a particular profile.  For example, a profile with 25 total ancestors and 13 total descendants would indicated almost no input into wikitree, nor user interest (and in need of some TLC), whereas one with 12,455 ancestors and 37,253 descendants would indicate a profile with massive input, user interest, and study activity (not to mention a lot of very large families).  Logging and tracking these two numbers would provide a metric to show expansion activity on a family tree from a particular vantage point of a particular profile, and tracked over time will provide an indication of saturation, i.e. the point when no one is finding new people to add to the tree.  This should be really easy to do, and I have often wondered, for example, how many directly linked descendants my Beebe ancestor who came to North America in 1650 have there been entered into wikitree?  And is the number growing (is anybody adding linked profiles to his descendants)?  This would also provide an instant snapshot of the propagation of particular profile, is this branch expanding or dying out?  How do the descendants of one brother compare to another brother over all ensuing generations? etc.

Hopefully, this clarifies what I am looking to see added.

Re 2) - For ancestors, Ancestor Listmaker can tell you how many ancestors a given profile has back to 20 generations. 

If the print function only allows for US format paper, I don't think I could support it to be honest.

You don't have to worry about the paper size. The print function Randy is proposing is based on the print program of your computer software. What ever paper size is in the program is the size you can use. The difference is that you don't get all the ad's and other junk on the screen.

Randy is proposing a program to print the Left column of the profile without anything else. Right now when you print the page you get everything on the page.
Chris, that is absolutely correct.  In the nice to have department, it would be nice to get page breaks, page numbers and a footer that would insert information that it came from Wikitree as a  source and a date it was printed.
Well, it could just be a css print variant, then the user's computer dictates the size. But I am not sure if that is what Randy is proposing, as the request states "enable folks to make to create a clean, printed personal family genealogy from the Wikitree database". That entails a linked type of set, maybe an ahnentable type of report with the profile pages as the individual reports?

If it is a 'program', a piece of software on the app server for instance, the paper size would be a setting. With the risk of getting a standard US letter size as requested.

Maybe Randy can elaborate a bit more to clarify this.
Michel: to start with I would be delighted to get something that would print just the relevant information for one profile, as Chris noted, the left hand column without all of the other Web page doodles.  It would be great if it included a nice printable format for both the Vital data section and the free form section and add page breaks, page numbers, sourced from Wikitree, and a date created.  And as far a paper format, it clearly would be best to let the local computer and printer chose the size, but that of course complicates page breaks, page numbers etc.

At the other extreme, it would be a grand slam home run to win the world series to get a piece of software that would automatically grab all of the profiles in a direct line of ascent (and descent) and print them into a pdf book in some sort of an organized format.  That sort of output would provide anyone who has taken the time to enter their genealogy into the Wikitree data base and connect it to the master tree the ability to "self-publish," for their own interest, a book of their genealogy, with all of the research, documentation, and biographies present in Wikitree at a particular point in time (hence publication date would also be essential).   If it were output in pdf format, the output would retain its hotlinks and could be used and shared in the digital domain or printed from one's computer in paper format.  This has some pretty far reaching consequences.  First, I would be willing to bet that this could be monetized, I am thinking anyone seriously interested in their genealogy would be willing to pay what it would cost for a bookstore hard copy book to get this PDF file (and a smart entrepreneur would bundle this with some bells and whistles and offer a turnkey printed book probably for several hundred dollars); second an option like has the potential to draw many people with an interest in genealogy into wikitree (the; etc crowd)  to enter "the last mile" of their genealogy into Wikitree and to connect with the master tree (hence a feature which could create a push to drive a massive expansion of more recent profiles into the Wikitree database.) and as the reach and quality of content is continually expanding and improving it is likely this could and would be something folks would want to do on a periodic basis.

Regards, Randy
Please note I am not a dev here on Wikitree, so can make wish lists as well, but only estimate the amount of work...

One shortcut, if you are willing to put some time into it, is get a browser add on that let's you modify the page lay-out on the fly. See eg Print Edit WE and similar. (I won't paste the link here, don't know that piece of software myself).

The extreme you mention shouldn't be too hard to make. There is the API to get the data, a templating system and a css for the lay-out. But mind you... it is a lot of work to make it nice for more than 1 person. So yes, I estimate one would to charge money for it (if you have money for it, I might consider making such a tool ...).

For the other simple option: you would someone on the team check if the css can be amended for this. It's not that easy, but who knows there might be a css guru around... (I am not).
+3 votes

Have you checked out the Apps that have been created for Wikitree by our great Members??

 Help page for Wikitree Apps lists all of the current apps.

Ancestor Statistics  will give you a total count for each of the 10 generations, starting with your profile.  I don't know if you can do it from any other profile, but you might ask about that. 

Ancestor Listmaker that Chase mentioned can enter the wikitree ID to start from. 

by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (533k points)
Hello Linda: I have used those before, and they are good and useful, but not what I am looking for.   I want just direct ancestors and descendants (no siblings) and I don't to have to manually count a list.  That is to say push a button and read two numbers (total ancestors and total descendants).
+3 votes

Randy, do you mean something like this:

That was just done by highlighting the relevant on-screen text with my mouse, right-clicking, then selecting print (using the Chrome browser).

by Sheena Tait G2G6 Mach 7 (72.6k points)
No, I am looking for a total count (a number) of direct ancestors and descendants for as far as they exist in the wikitree data base, this example only has a list of names one generation before and after.

Actually I was referring to the first part of your questionwink

 I would be delighted to get something that would print just the relevant information for one profile, as Chris noted, the left hand column without all of the other Web page doodles.  It would be great if it included a nice printable format for both the Vital data section and the free form section and add page breaks, page numbers, sourced from Wikitree, and a date created. 

Oops, I  have eyes but can I see?    Actually, that is very good and pretty much what I am after.  I just did trial run. (I usually use OPERA.)  It all looks pretty good, with one exception, if the text is longer than a page, the text will run over the footer and it does not leave a margin at the bottom of the page. (so the last line of the page will be dropped by the printer if it is too close to the bottom of the page). Something that works, but dropping a line at the page boundary is somewhat less than desirable for creating a binder.

But thank you, this is very, very close to what I am after and certainly works fine for shorter profiles.
Sheena's method will do the job IF there is a way to be able to add printer page breaks into the wikitree profile source code.  In poking around the internet for a way to do this it appears there needs to be a modification to the CSS code to accommodate this.

Hi Randy, it might be worth a fiddle with your printer/browser settings.  My original screenshot didn't show the second page,so here's another one

As you can see, it does cope with the page break and page numbering without any coding needed.  I've also printed it out just to check, and I've got a footer on both pages with the wikitree link and the page number both included.  Just so you can compare the results, the actual profile is

[Edited to add link to original profile]

Hello Sheena:

I followed up by doing a trial on OPERA and it did insert the page breaks, but it didn't have any headers or footers, so I opened the more settings and checked the headers and footer option and they were added as desired .  So I tried again in Chrome, and in more settings the Scale option had been set to Custom setting greater than 100, so when I changed this to back to default, the page breaks appear where they ought to be.  This does the trick, the printout is at a decent, readable font size, and everything is there.  Thanks for the help.

You're welcome laugh

+2 votes
The Family List feature in WikiTree is a partial solution to your second request. As an example, I went to the Family List for your ancestor Samuel Beebe (born 1660) at and selected 10 generations of descendants. The result is a list of 1236 descendants, who can be sorted by last name, birth date, or location of birth or death.

The Family List link is under the tab that has the profile ID# as its heading.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Hello Ellen:

This pretty much does what i am looking for and it works both ways and it will reach 15 generations so it will cover most families loaded into Wikitree.   I ran it on John Beebe and he had 20K + descendants so it took a while to generate the list of names (which in this case has no value when just looking for a count)  so if this feature had a radio button option to just provide the count (without the list) it is exactly what I am looking for--but it does the job as is, just a little slow.

Thanks for the help, Randy
This tool really needs to have the COUNT ONLY option added.  When used on large families with thousands of ancestors or descendants it takes forever to generate a list of names that, if you only want a count number, has absolutely  no value.   I have also see the tool lock up while processing large lists.

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